Monday, February 15, 2016
A flower shop and coffee shop in one, 4121 Main is perhaps the most serene coffee space in existence. The flowers are intertwined with the experience, with arrangements bursting from the shelves and the coffee bar alike; it is a unique sensory experience to drink coffee while inhaling bouquets of florals. The space is reminiscent of a floral scene in a Caravaggio painting — with all the chiaroscuro, since the small space is flooded with light.
Monday, February 1, 2016
I’m very excited to relaunch The Coffee Experiment; the composition of the new website better reflects my writing and the original idea that sparked this project. You will notice a new menu to the left, which are the new focuses of The Coffee Experiment: Conversations, Travel, Design, and Coffee 101.
I was always more interested in the social aspect of coffee — the way that it universally brings people together — than the coffee itself. CONVERSATIONS will focus on the people I have coffee with. The TRAVEL section will be a place I can write about travel, both coffee related and otherwise. I spend much of my time in coffee shops, writing, meeting people, or simply being. I am very inspired by the design of coffee spaces, the way they can be artful, while also serving as the gathering spaces for communities. Thus, the DESIGN section will focus on the architecture of coffee spaces, in every form. I still love to drink good coffee; COFFEE 101 will remain a place to write about coffee drinks and brewing methods that I enjoy.
Monday, February 1, 2016
Perhaps one of my favorite coffee spaces, ever: La Colombe’s newest addition to Philadelphia was built within the existing lobby of the Dow Chemical building. The building’s original architect, Pietro Belluschi, designed the space in the ’60s in the spirit of modernity and innovation; the original Plexiglass chandeliers (an ode to the original building’s owners, and creators of Plexiglass, Rohm and Haas) hang above wood panels and geometric stone columns. La Colombe added a beautiful bar, a hand-painted graphic mural by David Guinn, and a large metal dove to float atop the wood paneling. The original mid-century wood-paneled bathrooms doors, seamlessly constructed into the walls, were particularly cool.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Blue Bottle coffee opened up a small, simple space in the dimly lit caverns of an underground midtown mall, topped by hectic Rockefeller Center. Shiny marble is framed by wood pannels, giving it a modern, minimalist feel.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
What was once a residential area with a nice parking garage and a few local businesses, has nearly exploded in the last few years with restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Panther Coffee is a design-heavy space with rotating art and an industrial slant, warmed by yellow domed lights and an awesome outdoor alley for perfect people-watching.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Located on a Rue Villedon, a tiny side street near Le Palais Royal, owners Nicolas Clerc and David Flynn came together in hopes of revolutionizing the Paris coffee scene. Nicolas, a photographer, fell into the coffee business when asked to photograph for an article about coffee in Paris. “At the time I didn’t know there was any interest in coffee,” Nicolas explained. “When I understood what it was about, and how amazing it could taste, it quickly became an addiction, and a passion.”
“Paris was drastically missing a coffee shop the way we intended it,” Nicolas told me as he prepared my coffee on a beautiful fall day in Paris. And their intention is arguably modern and minimalist. The space is tiny, white and airy. The palate of sky blue and white creates a peaceful energy.
Friday, June 15, 2012
This bar, located upstairs from the Blue Bottle Cafe in Chelsea, is a romantic little space to have a full siphon-coffee experience. Designed for those with time on their hands, since the brewing method is not speedy, and an affinity for the technicalities of coffee making.
Monday, April 2, 2012
More known for its soaring architecture than the art it houses, the Jepson Center in Savannah is a physical manifestation of the contemporary climate of the city: simultaneously artistic, modern, southern and traditional.
White, airy, full of light and undulations, the Jepson is part of a trio of museums overlooking Telfair Square. The Jepson is, of course, the most modern; built in 2007 and designed by architect Moshe Safdie, it showcases contemporary art while the Telfair Academy and Owens-Thomas House are historical examples of early American art and architecture. The center’s open design does not intrude upon the historical block, its’ white facade and large windows make it nearly transparent.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Traditional Italian spaces center around the bar — no tables, no chairs, just a bar. It’s more of a place to pause rather than linger. Zibetto is a perfect, modern bar with stylized lines in white tones. It reminds me of a very mid-century modern New York space, even the near-perfect, symmetrical designs in the cappuccinos — as well as the thick gradation of crema color in the espresso — seem to blend in with the surroundings.